Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Oy vey!! I've had a busy summer....

 And it all started with this.   

  The blackberries were grand this year. They came and went pretty fast this year because of the drought and blistering heat, but when you live like we do, you make hay while the sun shines.  So I picked and picked like a madwoman for a couple of weeks, battling 100+ temps and heat stroke.

  Then came the lettuce, which wasn't much of a chore, actually. Just picked and ate, and the 2 types we planted stored really well in the fridge.  It was a Mignonette Bronze and Red Romaine.  They were beautiful, and even in the extreme heat, took a LONG time to finally bolt. 

  Isn't it gorgeous? We've just planted our second planting of it...no point in trying to plant anything earlier, but the heat has finally gone away. We've also got green beans in the dirt (3-4 inches tall already) and kale and carrots and  radishes and beets.

I canned quite a bit of green beans and salsa, as you can see here.

  I canned a batch of peach salsa and a big batch of peach jam when the peaches came in. Unfortunately a few other things were coming in too, so I decided to just freeze the rest of the peaches, figured I can make more salsa and jam later, when I'm not so busy.

 And, on July 21st, we got our very first pullet egg!!  It's next to an egg from the big birds for size comparison.

  As you can see, our 2 little peach trees did well for us this year.

  In addition to the salsa, I canned tomato sauce and whole tomatoes this year, and dried a ton. I still have tomatoes out there, but the ripening process is slowing down with the cooler temps.

  I pickled baby onions, green beans and okra too.  Lots and lots of okra....lol

  We had a decent enough potato harvest, considering the drought. In the neighborhood of 50 pounds altogether.  We also harvested 14 butternut squash, and there are a few more out there that are late bloomers.  Today the Irishman picked about half the apples out on the tree, and it's about  2 bushel. My plan for those bad boys is storing most of them and drying the rest. I still have applesauce coming out the wazoo from 2 years ago. 

  So far, with 2/3 of the bed finished, I have frozen about 5 quarts of edamame. And the plants that are left are loaded, just a variety that matures later than the others. The quinoa experiment...well...it got knocked down by a storm and we are pulling it up by the roots soon and hanging it in the garage to dry.  I'm not sure if it's really ready, some of the seed heads look more full and seedy than others. We'll see.

  I have started harvesting some of the lemon grass...drying the big leaves for tea, and found a link today to freezing herbs in olive oil, which I am going to try with some of the stalks. I thought I would also do some of the mint and basil that way, but most of the herbs--oregano, mint, basil, thyme, sage, and rosemary, will be dried.

  I dried 25 pounds of red onions and about 10 pounds of button mushrooms too.  And some summer squash slices for soups. And some okra and tomatoes.  I will be drying some apples still and even dried some peach slices to see how that would work. Great!  lol  And I almost forgot that I dried 10 pounds of sweet cherries too.


  So you can see that I have been hard at it.  Tonight I made a lovely Thai rice noodle dish and some spring rolls, and will post that recipe tomorrow. It was delicious!

  So I will say goodnight now, and come back tomorrow and post that recipe, between working on that big bunch of apples that are sitting in my kitchen....

Bon Apetit!



  1. Wow, you make me tired just reading it all. And you also make me hungry. But best of all, you inspire me. I can't wait until next Spring. I'll be spending this Fall (cooler weather) getting the garden beds created and ready to be 'ready". I hope I can do half of what you do, I'd be happy!

    1. The funny thing about gardening...it's my passion as well as my livelihood. I love the magic of it all. I love the productive part of being able to look at all this food I have produced and put up... I love the soul nurturing part of playing in the dirt. It's a win-win for me.
      One piece of advice I would give any new gardeners--keep a garden journal. I always write down what I have planted and when. When the germination happens. When the plants start producing. And I draw a garden map and write in where each and every plant is...so it makes garden rotation more efficient and correct. I learned the hard way, lol. By next spring, I won't be able to remember what was where.

      I also keep track of how much I canned and dried and froze, to know which plants produced well, and which ones I don't want to plant next year.

  2. I am worn out Annie from reading this post. I miss the days when we had a garden. Most of all I miss the green lima beans that I froze by the quart bag. How are your lima beans doing?

    1. Weeelllllll....the lima bean plants are gorgeous. I have harvested a few dry beans. It doesn't look like they're doing real well, as far as volume. BUT--there's still a good month or two, so I'm not giving up on them yet. The dang things are still flowering.

      I just have to remember that this was a rough hard year for gardens, and I'll try them again next year. Maybe a different variety though, than the speckled pole limas.

  3. The fruits of your labour are impressive, I step back in amazement at your industriasness, (im not sure thats a word).
    If there is a world war (or anything similar)can i come and live with you please, Im a masseuse, I could keep you going with well oiled muscles.

    1. CC--You've got yourself a deal!! lol


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